Ola Electric to launch global electric two-wheeler; buys dutch scooter firm


(Ola Electric), the ride-hailing firm’s electric vehicle arm, has acquired Etergo BV, an Amsterdam-based electric scooter original equipment manufacturer. Ola did not disclose the amount it was paying to acquire Etergo, which was last valued at about $90 million and which has raised total funding of $20 million, according to the sources.

This acquisition marks Ola’s entry into the premium electric two-wheeler market, both globally and nationally. Ola Electric aims to launch its global electric two-wheeler in India in 2021. This acquisition will further bolster Ola Electric’s strong engineering and design capabilities with the Etergo team’s extensive vehicle development experience with leading automotive like Tesla, General Motors, Ferrari, Jaguar, and Etergo’s team will continue to be based out of Amsterdam as they join Ola Electric. Etergo has about 70 employees in the Netherlands and “the company would play a key role in providing the technology” to help Ola launch its first electric two-wheeler next year, said a person familiar with the development. The move would also put the firm in direct competition with electric two-wheeler makers such as Ather Energy, Hero Electric and TVS Motor Company.

“The future of mobility is electric, and the post Covid world presents an opportunity for us to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility globally,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and chairman, Ola Electric.

Last July Ola Electric raised $250 million from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank. The investment made the company a “unicorn”, or a start-up valued at more than $1 billion.

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Founded in 2014, Etergo has developed an all-electric state-of-the-art AppScooter, which received multiple awards for its innovative design and engineering at CES 2019 and Automotive Brand Contest, Germany amongst others. First revealed in 2018, the AppScooter uses swappable high energy density batteries to deliver a range up to 240km and class-leading acceleration.

Aggarwal said every year, almost twice the number of two-wheelers are sold across the world compared to cars. With electric, digitally connected capabilities, two-wheelers will further emerge as the most preferred urban mobility paradigm around the world and empower every consumer. “We look forward to building the best global capabilities in engineering, design, and manufacturing for these products to be made here in India,” said Aggarwal.

Experts said electric two-wheelers are the most efficient and cleanest solution for urban mobility, which will become even more relevant in the post Covid world. With European design, strong engineering collaboration and Indian manufacturing and supply chain, Ola Electric aims to transform the 100-million global two-wheeler market, including the 20-million Indian two-wheeler market, into clean energy, digital future.

“Ola is one of the world’s most admired mobility and has led the way for many innovations in the space, including its bold ambition for electric mobility,” said Bart Jacobsz Rosier, co-founder and CEO, Etergo BV. “We are looking forward to joining Ola Electric and together, reimagining electric mobility to transform the way the world moves.”

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Ola Electric has been working towards building the electric vehicle ecosystem to enable ‘clean kilometres’ at scale. With plans to set up extensive charging and swapping networks around the country, Ola Electric is currently running several pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions across cities with a focus on 2 and 3 wheelers. The company aims to build a suite of electric and smart urban mobility solutions for global citizens, both in India and around the world.

Ola Electric is already working with India’s leading power distribution towards developing a conducive EV ecosystem through the establishment of Battery Swapping and Charging Stations in the national capital of New Delhi. Ola Electric has also inducted automobile industry veterans like BVR Subbu and Jaime Ardila to its board who bring in their deep industry expertise and global mobility experience. Last year Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in Ola Electric. Earlier the firm had said it is committed to bringing 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022.

The India electric vehicle ecosystem market is expected to reach $216.3 billion by 2030, according to a report by BIS Research. The government target for 30 per cent adoption of electric vehicles by 2030 is expected to be majorly driven by the electrification of two-wheeler, three-wheeler, and commercial vehicles.

Box: The Ola Electric road map

Etergo would play a key role to help Ola Electric launch its global electric two-wheeler in 2021.

Etergo was last valued at about $90 million and has about 70 employees.

Etergo’s team has vehicle development experience with leading automotive companies like Tesla, General Motors,

Ola Electric launching its electric two-wheeler puts it in direct competition with Ather Energy, Hero Electric and TVS Motor Company.

Ola Electric had plans to bring 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022.

The India electric vehicle ecosystem market is expected to reach $216.3 billion by 2030.

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